Inclusive first aid in action
© InfoDavid Morton is a young man who gave first aid to an elderly woman who had suffered a seizure and was lying at the bottom of her hallway stairs.
David, who has learning difficulties, was out with his supervisor volunteering for a charity that picks up vulnerable people from their homes, when he came across the lady.
He knew exactly what to do because he had recently attended a first aid training programme with the British Red Cross at his local Mencap Job Club in County Down. He made sure the woman was breathing, placed her in the recovery position and checked for injuries. Then he made sure an ambulance was called and waited with the casualty until the paramedics arrived.
David’s actions clearly demonstrate how people of all abilities can make a life-saving difference when given access to first aid training.
Volunteering open to all
Shauna McPhilemy has recently joined the British Red Cross as a therapeutic care volunteer. She was introduced to the British Red Cross and their work after attending a first aid training course. Shauna is visually impaired and a guide-dog owner. She is volunteering in a local hospital with people who have suffered a stroke and says the work is challenging and has taught her a lot.
Shauna says the opportunity to volunteer has helped her to gain perspective regarding her own disability and to be positive and inspired in her daily life. She also feels that the impact of her volunteering has a positive effect on those whom she is supporting.
As part of the British Red Cross’ commitment to diversity it has been working in partnership with disability charity Scope.
The Leadership Recruitment Scheme has been designed by Scope to provide a career development programme for highly qualified and talented people with disabilities. It provides a unique opportunity for people to use their knowledge and skills and gain valuable experience of working in a professional environment.
Trainees based at the British Red Cross work within the Living Diversity team and have responsibility for a range of activities including managing specific projects around diversity and inclusion. They also have some work experience in other departments. The trainees have a 12-month contract of employment with Scope, during which time they undertake work placements with partner organisations like the British Red Cross.
Any graduate (or person of equal calibre) that considers him or herself to have a disability, can apply to the Scope programme.
Positive Images programme
Since 2000, asylum seekers have been arriving in Glasgow through the government’s dispersal programme. This has led to increased tension between communities. A recent Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) report illustrated that there is a worrying trend of hostility in Glasgow and among young people in Scotland towards asylum seekers. The IPPR report makes various recommendations including focusing on young people to challenge hostile racist attitudes.
The British Red Cross, through its Positive Images project, explored how difference and diversity are a desirable part of any community and to encourage a more positive and welcoming attitude towards asylum seekers and refugees.
Workshops in schools
Trained Red Cross volunteers, many of whom were from the local refugee and asylum community, worked with pupils in secondary schools through interactive workshops and activities.
More than 2,500 pupils in 20 secondary schools took part in classroom sessions focusing on building empathy and challenging the myths surrounding asylum seekers and refugees.
The feedback from pupils after participating in the workshops was extremely positive. Some of their responses were:
“You should not stereotype an asylum seeker. They are just normal people and we should respect their culture and religion.”
“There is a very little population of refugees in Scotland, equivalent to just one-fifth of Hampden football stadium; not very much for the massive media and bad press it conjures up.”
“Asylum seekers aren't bad people, they're just looking for somewhere safe to stay.”